A Fire Safety Requirements Refresher For Apartment Building Owners

Some time has passed since the last two monumental San Francisco fire safety ordinances were instated in response to the Mission District fires. Although deadlines for compliance have long gone and these protections are well established—it’s never too late to review them. Particularly in preparation for the approaching 2021 fire safety requirement.

Did you know all SF residential properties need to upgrade their fire alarm systems by 2021? By July 1, 2021, apartment building owners are required to make their systems loud enough to wake sleeping tenants—read our blog post to learn more about this new 2021 requirement here.

Fire Safety Requirements Refresher For Building Owners

Aura Fire Alarm is helping you take care of business. In San Francisco, residential building owners have several responsibilities to promote fire safety. Below we summarize some key provisions and alert apartment building owners to another requirement that many of you will have to contend with.

  • FIRE SAFETY INFORMATION DISCLOSURE

    Reduce the risk of fires and damage from fires—if you’re the apartment building owner of buildings with three or more dwelling units—by disclosing fire safety information to new residents on or before they begin to live in the building. And then every year after that for each resident. You must also post fire safety information in a place that is accessible to all residents.

  • SMOKE ALARM INFORMATION DISCLOSURE

    Apartment building owners with one or more dwelling units rented or leased need to provide each tenant with a written notice regarding fire alarm requirements on a form provided by the Fire Department. The Fire Department has developed the notice in consultation with the Department of Building Inspection and has made the notice available here on its website in Spanish, Chinese, and English. This also needs to happen annually after that.

  • FIRE ALARM MAINTENANCE, INSPECTION AND TESTING FORM

    Apartment building owners are responsible for maintaining fire safety systems in operable conditions at all times. System(s) must be tested and inspected every year by service personnel who meet the qualification requirements of NFPA 72 for inspecting, maintaining, and testing. If you have any questions about the lifespan or operation of your existing fire alarm system, contact Aura Fire Alarm today at (415) 881-4402 or click here.

    Aura Fire Alarm ensures the rules regarding signage in common areas of apartment buildings, fire safety features, and education for residential tenants that satisfies state requirements. Additionally, be mindful, owners have until July 2021 to bring their buildings up to compliance with the new regulations mentioned above. By that date, buildings need to be upgraded to meet a “pillow test.” Under this new regulatory regime, apartment building owners must ensure their existing or upgraded fire alarms are loud enough for residents in sleeping areas to hear it.

A Few Key Take-Aways

Aura Fire Alarm makes sure each of our client’s buildings complies with San Francisco’s fire safety ordinances. For us, it is a duty to protect your investment and the well-being of your residents. Apartment building owners should keep in mind there is a bit of record-keeping involved to stay in good graces with fire officials, Aura Fire Alarm can help you ensure all the paperwork is in order.

What’s more, it is prudent for owners to take steps to prevent fires proactively. Preventative and common-sense measures can keep your investment property and residents safe. For instance, often overlooked is the adequate spacing of furnaces and wall heaters from other items that can go up in flames and cleaning of dryer vent lines.

Avoid Expensive Emergency Costs With Aura Fire Alarm

It is essential to review the operation of your apartment building. Has your residential building’s construction or occupancy use changed since your fire alarm system was installed? Did any new building modifications cause your existing system to be non-code compliant? Perhaps there are parts of your building that need to be redesigned from a fire alarm perspective due to frequent or varied occupancy use.

At Aura Fire Alarm, we enjoy educating facility managers, property managers, property owners, and more on the various types of residential fire alarm systems available. A working fire alarm system is part of the habitability requirements outlined by the state of California. Every residential building is required to have a commercial fire alarm.

At Aura Fire Alarm, you get direct service and peace of mind. Complex state laws and fire codes can make installing or updating a fire alarm system confusing. We make the process seamless.

Our highly responsive and educated team provides fire alarm installation, inspection, and monitoring services for both your commercial and residential spaces. Give Aura Fire Alarm a call today for a quote (415) 881-4402 or click here.